Posted: Sun 20th Mar 2022

Buckley: Petition calling on Welsh Government not to impose blanket 20mph speed limits gathering support

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Mar 20th, 2022

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A petition calling for the Welsh Government not to impose blanket 20mph speed limits on 30mph roads has gained more than 2,100 signatures since Friday.

Flintshire was picked as one of eight areas across Wales where a reduction from 30mph to 20mph has been introduced on residential roads as part of a Welsh Government trial.

In May 2019, First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that it was Welsh Government policy to set a national default 20mph limit for urban and village streets.

Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport directed a Task Force to form and report recommendations on the practicalities of this national change.

The Task Force final report stated that there “is overwhelming evidence that lower speeds result in fewer collisions and a reduced severity of injuries; and consistent evidence that casualties are reduced when 20mph limits are introduced.”

“It should be noted that these benefits are achieved even when average speeds do not drop to 20mph – any speed reduction leads to a positive outcome.”

“Speed reductions are expected to increase over time as people become accustomed to the lower limits and slower driving is normalised.”

“Public opinion is likely to support the change.”

On the back of a final Task Force report, Ministers agreed to introduce a national default 20mph speed limit for residential restricted roads in Wales by August 2023.

As part of an initial Welsh Government trial, 20mph speed limits came into force on Monday, 28 February, in Buckley, Drury, Burntwood, Alltami, New Brighton, Mynydd Isa, and Bryn Baal.

The move has caused an uproar with residents in those areas, partly because they feel they were not consulted properly on the change despite Flintshire council stating an “extensive period of informal consultations with the local communities as well as the undertaking of the required statutory consultation.”

And that the new speed limits are targeting wrong roads such as Liverpool Road, the main arterial route through Buckley

Buckley resident Adie Drury, who started the petition said: “Many of these roads aren’t suitable for a 20mph speed limit.”

“They are busy access roads on steep hills. The lorries are struggling to get up the hills in such low gear and sticking to such a low-speed downhill is hard on the brakes. ”

She said the new speed limits in Buckley have caused bus delays; “making environmental commuting more inefficient than it was before. It is also going to affect property values on specific routes and traffic to be diverted into more residential areas to bypass this limit.”

Adie said there has “not been high occurrence rates of road traffic accidents, deaths or injuries on roads in and around Buckley that require a change to our regular 30mph limit on these roads. ”

“It’s entirely unjustified and was not supported by the community making it a non-democratic change.”

“The community already support the 20mph zones outside schools and other significant areas and would fully support keeping these in place.”

She said: “Flintshire residents were not part of the closed Welsh Government survey, and we feel the questions asked were completely misleading.”

“We all agree slower driving is appropriate in specific areas (schools, hospitals, around shops) but nobody supports a blanket 20mph zone across all our roads.”

“It doesn’t make any sense and is leading to significant inconvenience, distress, and dangerous road conditions.”

“We ask that more research is conducted, and a wider survey completed with more appropriate questions prior to this pilot taking place in Buckley. No research indicates that a 20mph limit will reduce accidents in Wales.”

Adie said one of the biggest issues we have had with the scheme in Buckley is that Phase 2 was also not consulted on.

“Flintshire County Council pushed it through, opening the consultation period on the 17th December and closing it on the 7th January without telling anyone.“ She said.

“The county councillors didn’t know. The town councillors didn’t know. Because no one knew, no one could object.”

“Therefore the main access roads, through roads and main commuter routes were all lowered to 20mph against the wishes of the town council.” She said.

Flintshire council confirmed it has asked the Welsh government to review the 20mph speed limit on main arterial roads in Buckley as a matter of a “high priority.”

In a statement, the council said: “Following an approach to Welsh Government about the recent implementation of a 20mph speed limit in Buckley, the Leader of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Ian Roberts, has welcomed a positive response from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters.”

Council leader, Cllr Ian Roberts, said: “Whilst we support Welsh Government’s rollout of a 20mph speed limited in residential areas and busy pedestrian streets, we have listened to concerns from local residents since the implementation of a 20mph speed limit in Buckley on 28 February and have asked Welsh Government to consider reviewing the exceptions criteria that led to the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on the main arterial roads.”

Cllr Roberts said: “Given the extent of the feedback received from the local community, we are pleased that the Deputy Minister has acknowledged this feedback and said that whilst 20mph is currently the default, Welsh Government will look at the speed limit on main arterial roads by reviewing the exceptions criteria prior to the scheme being rolled out further across Wales in 2023.”

“We appreciate that the matter is attracting increasing attention within the local community and have requested that the matter be dealt with as a high priority.”



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